Two terms specific to any roast cycle are “first crack” and “second crack.” These both refer to a physical transformation the beans undergo while roasting. Green coffee beans retain a lot of moisture and this moisture is continually evaporating during the roast cycle. When the coffee reaches about 395°F, the moisture evaporation builds up to the point of literally splitting the bean open, causing an audible noise known as first crack. Then, as the roast progresses, coffee naturally takes on CO2 during the roast cycle. If the roast goes long and dark enough – as we do with A Dark Affair – this buildup of CO2 will cause another physical and audible change in the makeup of the coffee, splitting the bean further and causing what is known as second crack.